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EASTSIDE : Staying in Business in Tough Times

January 09, 1994|MARY ANNE PEREZ

The state Economic Development Department and the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce have scheduled a Jan. 21 summit for local businesses on surviving and thriving in a difficult economy.

The summit is designed to help merchants take advantage of tax breaks, employee-training programs and information that they may not know about, said Victor Robles, one of the event's organizers.

"People are not aware of all the things that our government dollars--taxes--offer, such as training programs and tax incentives," Robles said.

In the seven years that he and his wife, Yolanda, have run their contracting company, they have discovered low-interest, small-business loans and tax deductions by being located in a revitalization zone. And most of their employees have been hired through on-the-job training programs.

"It took us a long time to find out how to get certified as a minority-owned business to compete for big projects," Robles said.

This kind of knowledge can help businesses save money or expand their markets, said Sandy Gutierrez, manager of the state Economic Development Department office in East Los Angeles.

"Oftentimes, businesses fail to take advantage of incentives simply because they don't know about them," she said. "We want to expose the business community to these to help keep money in their pocket or help their businesses grow."

The two-hour meeting will present information from legislators and the local business community, giving Chamber of Commerce directors the chance to meet and invite the presenters to their local chapters, Gutierrez said.

There will be limited seating at the meeting, to be held at the Rosemead Sheraton Hotel. Admission is $8.

Reservations: (213) 887-6240.

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